“Most people will never know what that tastes like raw” Christina commented over my shoulder as I sliced through the side of a patty pan squash.
“What do you mean? They are good raw!” I replied, defensively.
“I know that” She said, stealing a slice of squash from under my knife and popping it into her mouth “but a lot of people don’t”.
Christina puts things into perspective for me. I forget how strange and intimidating vegetables can be when they are unfamiliar. They trigger a primal fear, and I forget that as animals we are meant to be wary of new foods lest we poison ourselves on unfamiliar berries. Eating new foods requires a sense of adventure. Like kids, we need our friends to dare us, and double dare us, and triple dog dare us to laugh down our fears and boldly walk down the dark path of the unknown.
A flash of lightning blazed up the rain streaked windows. The water trailed down in perfectly chiseled lines and it looked as though the windows had been sliced with a knife. I stood in the kitchen, laughing maniacally as a slice celery greens and patty pan squash, and mixed up a witches brew of plum vinegar dressing. I dare you to try it.
I Dare You Salad
3 small patty pan squash, cut into small pieces
4 long thin carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium cucumber, extremely fresh so that it snaps
1/4 cup celery greens
Creamy Plum Vinegar Dressing:
3/4 cup yogurt
3 cloves spicy garlic
1 umeboshi plum, mashed (these are a type of salty, preserved plums which can be found at the asian grocery store)
1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar
lots of black pepper
Christina’s vote: “Ha ha, ate it all!”